Letter: Young killer did not seek publicity

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The Independent Online
Young killer did not seek publicity

Sir: As the solicitor who represented Learco Chindamo during his recent trial for the murder of Philip Lawrence, I have noted with concern the publication of what purports to be an interview with him in The Sunday Times, and the subsequent reaction to that article ("Interview with head's killer angers MP", The Independent, 16 December).

One can well understand the public anxiety which has been engendered by what appears to be an attempt by Chindamo to court media attention. I would like to set the record straight.

Before, during and after the trial, Chindamo's family has been continually harassed and pursued by journalists, notwithstanding their clear and determined refusal to make any comment. In accordance with Chindamo's wishes, those of us who represented his interests refused numerous opportunities to speak publicly on his behalf.

Last week a journalist managed to bypass security arrangements and persuaded Chindamo, who is a 16-year-old of low intelligence, to speak to him on the telephone from custody. The result was the publication in The Sunday Times of what claimed to be an accurate record of an interview with Chindamo; this article has prompted suggestions that Chindamo has provided himself with a public platform.

He has in fact never sought any contact with the press, either directly or indirectly. He and his family have always resisted any temptation that there may have been to correct inaccuracies in reports which concern them, and continue to do so.

The irresponsible journalism which led to the publication of the recent article in The Sunday Times deserves censure through the columns of your newspaper.


Hodge Jones & Allen

London NW1